Watch Iraqi Protesters Burn Down Model of US Embassy as Soleimani Assassination Anniversary Nears

© Photo : Twitter / @politicalpen_Protesters burn down model of US Embassy in Iraq.
Protesters burn down model of US Embassy in Iraq. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.01.2022
Iranian anti-terror commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on 3 January 2020. Tehran has vowed to punish those responsible, warning repeatedly that there is no statute of limitations for justice being served.
Demonstrators gathered outside Baghdad’s Green Zone – which includes the sprawling US Embassy compound, on Friday to commemorate Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi anti-Daesh (ISIS)* commander who was killed with him two years ago, and to express outrage at the American “great devil.”
“Today we are remembering the day the evil embassy entered Iraq, the embassy of the great devil; the American embassy that never brings good things to any country, that brought harm to the Iraqi people. Today the Iraqis also mourn Qasem Soleimani and the heroic martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,” one protestor was quoted as saying.
Protesters erected a model of the US Embassy, spraying it with graffiti and setting it alight while waving Iraqi flags and chanting the slogan “Your time is up!” in reference to the US troop presence.
Friday’s demonstration was organised by the Popular Mobilization Forces – the 128,000 troop-strong Baghdad-allied militia force created in 2014 to combat Daesh, which received assistance from Soleimani while he was alive.
The Iraqi government has had a difficult time balancing the conflicting interests of the mostly Shia PMF – whose member militias have demanded the immediate and complete exit of all US forces from the country, and Washington, which recently announced an end to its ‘counter-terrorism’ combat mission in Iraq, but has kept troops in the country under the pretext of training and advisory support.
The late Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was a deputy commander of the PMF, and his January 2020 killing alongside Soleimani enraged militia leaders and prompted them to warn that they would not stop rocket strikes on US military facilities and roadside bomb attacks against American logistics convoys until all US troops were out.

The US Embassy in Baghdad was put on alert earlier this week, citing “increased demonstration activity related to the certification of Iraqi elections, as well as the December 31 deadline for the transition of US military operations in Iraq and the 3 January anniversary of the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani”.

“Even peaceful demonstrations can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” the mission warned.
Local media have reported that Iraqi security forces have been deployed around the US Embassy, and that US C-RAM counter rocket, artillery and mortar systems have been activated.
Screengrab of US C-RAM system in use. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.11.2021
Iraqi Security Forces Ask Why US Defences in Baghdad Weren’t Working During UAV Attack on PM’s Home
Soleimani and al-Muhandis were killed in a US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020, with US officials first claiming that the Iranian counter-terror commander was planning attacks on US forces, but later admitting that he was merely “saying bad things” about America and that there was no specific intelligence pointing to any Soleimani plots.
The assassination prompted Iran to launch over a dozen ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq, leaving over 100 American troops with traumatic brain injuries and putting Tehran and Washington on the brink of war. President Donald Trump reportedly called off US strikes inside Iran after being urged to do so by Tucker Carlson, his favourite Fox News host.
Iran has said repeatedly that it will continue to seek to prosecute those it holds responsible for Soleimani’s death, including Trump, with Iranian and Iraqi judges issuing arrest warrants against the former president. Interpol has refused to assist, citing the case’s “political” character.
In this Sept. 18, 2016, file photo provided by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran. Iran executed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd convicted of providing information to the United States and Israel about the prominent Revolutionary Guard general later killed by a U.S. drone strike, state TV reported on Monday, July 20, 2020. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.12.2021
Iran Says Current US Administration Bears Responsibility for General Qassem Soleimani's Killing
On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry reiterated that the US holds “definitive international responsibility” for Soleimani’s death, and said that the Biden administration is now ultimately answerable for the “terrorist attack that was orchestrated and carried out in an organized manner” by its predecessor.
Trump has expressed no signs of being concerned about Iran’s legal efforts, and has bragged about “taking out” Soleimani, claiming that the anti-terror commander was “bigger by many, many times” than the late al-Qaeda* leader Osama bin Laden.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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